Today’s interview is with Dolores, who at 88-years of age loves to travel, be with friends and family and who prioritizes taking care of herself. In spite of a few limitations, Dolores shares how she adjusts in order to keep doing what she wants.
Editor’s Note: Dolores is my mother. She taught me the importance of taking care of myself in order to have a healthy on-the-go lifestyle. She is a retired Registered Nurse, wife, mother of 5 kids, has 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild, a fiercely independent spirit and a great example of how to live an active body lifestyle at any age. She lives in Sun City West Arizona at an independent living facility.
Describe yourself for our readers.
Well, I am elderly. Actually I’m 88. I’m reasonably healthy. I’d say I’m outgoing. I like to live life to the fullest and do the things I enjoy doing. My motto now: I do what I want, if I want, when I want. I was on so many committees with the kids. So that’s not something I get involved with anymore. Instead, I like listening to concerts here where I live, or going to concerts at one of the great venues in our area. It’s nice because they take us in an air conditioned van.
Every Monday, I listen to weekly lectures here on world affairs. A retired professor from the University of Arizona is the speaker. We pack the place every week with over 100 people!
I go out to dinner with my sister-in-law once a month. Every day I read the local paper and on Sundays I take all day to read the New York Times. I have the baseball package on TV and watch my beloved Milwaukee Brewers. I watch NCIS – I think it’s so intriguing. I like the actors in it, too. Every morning and evening I sit at the same table with my friends. I make a small lunch every day in my apartment. As far as the kitchen is concerned – I have never liked to cook, I use it as storage.
Describe your travel routines.
I don’t travel alone anymore, except on short flights. One of my kids join me when I fly. They hover around me, but, I like it. I mail my suitcase to wherever I am flying a week before I go. This way I only use a small carry-on bag. I request a wheelchair at the airport, so I don’t have to walk far. And I use a cane. I want to save my legs for walking around the places I visit with my family.”
How do you include movement in your typical day?
Walking around the 3rd floor 3 times is 1 mile where I live. I do that about 4 times a week. I also walk down to all my meals.
What do you eat on a daily basis?
Lots of fruit. Apples are important-the roughage is good for regularity. Oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch is sliced ham on rye bread, yogurt and a couple of cookies. For dinner I have either fish, chicken, or steak with a salad and vegetables. I drink coffee for breakfast, water for lunch and a glass of rose wine each night.
How do you balance taking care of you?
I make and keep my doctors, dentist and podiatrist appointments. I have my blood work done every three months to make sure everything is ok. I take my medications. Some people don’t, you know. They don’t do what they are told when they go to doctor. I was a registered nurse. So this is coming from being a nurse. I check my blood sugar-every other day. If it goes low, I can sneak a little snack.
I get enough sleep. I go to bed between 8:30-9:00pm. I make sure I see my friends. I don’t sit alone at meals. I talk to my kids 2-3 times a week. Sunday at 8am I go to church and the driver where I live takes me. He picks me up too. I lay my clothes out the night before. I get up early. I get to breakfast at 6:30am. I don’t have to, but it’s good for me to have a routine.
What advice can you share on how to live a healthy active lifestyle?
Eat correctly. Take prescribed medications.
If there is a physical problem, go to doctor and find out what it is, it could be nothing.
I don’t stop doing things because something hurts. Everything hurts sometimes, but what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work! So, you adjust. I use a cane. I take a wheelchair at airport to save my legs. If I get extra tired I use my walker.
You have to keep looking up – seeing the better side of things in life. It’s all about attitude. If you look at the down side you will be down. I have no knee-cap, but that doesn’t stop me. I’ve had a brace for 15 years. And finally, don’t hang around with people who are always negative.